Here in Africa, it was a weekend of Olympic qualifiers, but even while some foreign-based players returned to help their national teams move another step closer to Rio 2016, there were still others strutting their stuff in leagues beyond the continent and Ladiesmarch.com brings this review.
BELARUS (Premier League Women)
With Gift Otuwe, Esther Sunday and Onome Ebi substituted at different times in the second half, Tawa Ishola and Uchechi Sunday played the entire duration of the game in which their club, Minsk, beat Bobruichanka 3-0, to climb to the top of the league table on Monday, July 20.
It was the second game between both sides in five days and a fourth loss in a row for Bobruichanka, who missed the services of Equatorial Guinea’s Gloria Chinasa Okoro, their second highest goal scorer with 4 goals – Okoro was on target for her national team in their Olympic qualifier against Nigeria.
When both sides met on Wednesday last week, Uchechi Sunday scored a hat-trick for Minsk in their 4-1 away victory and she now sits comfortably atop the scorers chart.
Ishola was the only one amongst the five Nigerians in the line-up to be substituted on Wednesday as Cameroonian defender and former Rivers Angels player, Cathy Bou Ndjouh replaced her. Cathy Bou was also the one that replaced Gift Otuwe on Monday.
Meanwhile, another Nigerian, Eno Umoh Uduak kept her starting shirt for Bobruichanka in both matches.
FINLAND (Naisten Liiga)
This is the league where Nigeria’s Cynthia Uwak has continued to score for fun. She is currently the leading goal scorer with 14 goals after her 15-minute, second half brace for Åland United in their 3-2 win against Nice Futis on Saturday, July 18.
19-year-old Cameroonian midfielder, Raissa Feudjio was however on the losing side as her team Merilappi United could not avoid a 2-1 defeat against second placed Pallokissat.
ENGLAND (FA WSL 1)
Asisat Oshoala was one of the key players that were unable to complete Liverpool Ladies’ game at the Select Stadium on Saturday due to injury, and her team eventually lost 1-2 to Notts County in the presence of 867 spectators.
Oshoala who scored in the 3-1 away victory to Arsenal Ladies the weekend before, could only partake in 51 minutes of the match.
Explaining the situation after the game, coach Matt Beards said:
“Satara’s (Murray) pulled her hamstring, she did it in the (World Cup) break and we managed to get her fit for Arsenal but it’s gone again, Asis (Oshoala) has got a slight knock on her knee and Fara (Williams) looks like she’s pulled her hamstring too.”
Prior to her substitution, Nigerian international Oshoala had one of the game’s best chances to put her side in the lead. She was clean through at 1-1 in the first half against Notts County’s goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain but her shot was too close to the England international.
Another African who plies her trade in England’s topflight is Spanish-born Equatorial Guinean striker, Jade Boho-Sayo. The former Rayo Vallecano star was among the seven new faces the relegation-threatened Bristol Academy added to their squad early this month during the summer break.
She scored on her debut appearance on July 12 in their 4-1 loss to Chelsea Ladies but was absent in the 3-0 loss to Manchester City Ladies at the weekend as she was in the Equatorial Guinea squad that drew 1-1 against Nigeria in an Olympic qualifier in Abuja.
Nigerian striker Rita Chikwelu played the entire 90 minutes for Umea IK FF, but could not save them from suffering their second consecutive defeat on Sunday, July 19, as they fell 0-2 to KIF Örebro with compatriot Sarah Michael scoring Örebro’s first goal and midfielder Ogonna Chukwudi also in action.
On the same day, Gaelle Enganamouit of Cameroon could still not find the back of the net in her second league match since returning from the World Cup, but she contributed her quota in ensuring Eskilstuna United’s 3-1 victory over Göteborg FC away from home.
Cote d’Ivoire’s Ida Guehai has however overtaken Enganamouit on the Damallsvenskan scorers chart by one goal after she scored her fourth goal of the season in Kristianstad’s 2-2 draw in the home of Hammarby on Monday, July 20. Guehai was substituted 3 minutes after her 60th minute goal. She was also in the squad that had lost 2 – 3 to Faith Ikidi’s Piteå four days earlier.
Cameroon striker Nchout Njoya, Ajara watched from the bench as her Western New York Flash side drew 3-3 at home against Sky Blue FC. Nigerian midfielder, Halimatu Ayinde who joins her at the club was in Nigeria at the weekend, scoring the only goal for the Super Falcons in their 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea.
Washington Spirit’s new signings Josephine Chukwunonye and Ngozi Okobi alongside a seemingly old face, Francesca Ordega missed out in their side’s impressive 3-0 triumph over heavyweights Seattle Reign.
Portland Thorns FC, team of former African Player of the Year, Genoveva Anonma, did not play at the weekend. The Equatorial Guinea captain who was in Nigeria at the weekend, should be back at with her team before they take on Seattle Reign on Wednesday July 22.